To Eat or Not to Eat on Exam Day? Here Is The Answer!

As a student, you probably know what a challenge it is to remain calm, come the day of your exam. No matter how many essay writing examples you’ve worked through or how many studies preparation you’ve done, there’s always that lurching feeling in your stomach. That’s because your body actually has two nervous systems – one in your brain that’s connected to your central nervous system, and one in your digestive tract – and the two talk to each other! This ‘second brain’ or nervous system is your enteric nervous system. Through neurotransmitters, it helps influence your mood and mental state. The nerves in your gut run up to your brain 90% of the time and not the other way around, which is why whether you eat before your exam matters, as well as what you eat is important.

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So, Should You Eat Before Your Exam?

Yes. If you’ve managed to get any sleep at all, your body’s been in fasting mode and urgently needs fuels to feed your brain. And it’s not just about what makes sense in theory – research shows that students who manage to grab a bite in the morning perform better in tests.


It’s also important to stay hydrated. Your brain uses a staggering amount of water in order to perform all its functions. This is why you can develop headaches, tiredness, nausea and an inability to focus even if you’re only slightly dehydrated. Your digestive system and enteric systems hate dehydration too – water helps break down food so the nutrients from it can be absorbed. A lack of adequate nutrients could lead to a chemical imbalance in your brain, which can make you feel down or anxious.


Water is the single most important factor in bioavailability. Even if you ingest all the correct nutrients, if it can’t be broken down into usable compounds thanks to biosynthesis – which uses largely water – those nutrients will simply exit your body. Or maybe it won’t because of how little water you’re drinking, leaving you with hard, painful stool, bloating and cramps.

What To Do If You Can’t Hold Your Food Down

Get up slightly earlier, and go for a walk. Activity calms both your nervous systems. Better yet, walk to your exam and eat an apple on the way there. Take water into the venue if you can – your nerves will make your mouth dry at some point.


Take anti-nausea medication on an empty stomach. Meditate or do your visualizations. Think about how with the help of your cheap thesis writing service, you’ve managed to build up good project grades. Now it’s just the final stretch.


Avoid dairy and fatty foods, but try to eat a slice of toasted whole grain bread with butter (not margarine) or a bowl of muesli-like cereal if you can.

What Exactly Should You Eat?

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Your brain uses 40% of all water, 50% of good fats such as Omega 3 and 6, 35% of all vitamins and minerals, and 20% of all glucose in your body. Spot the missing food group? Carbohydrates! You’ll benefit from a great egg and bacon breakfast with an apple and water. That donut or bagel? Not so much!


If it’s packaged, stay away from it. Processed food is as bad for your brain as sugar. Give your brain the glucose it needs from fruits, nuts and vegetables.


No matter how nervous you are, not eating isn’t the solution. Feed your brain to fuel it so it performs at peak the way your require it to do.  


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